Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Will Always Choose A Midwife

When I found out my sister’s OB/GYN all of a sudden “changed his mind” about allowing my sister to go VBACs I was furious. He baited and switched and that shouldn’t even be allowed. Women’s bodies were created to give birth. I find it utterly ridiculous that caesarian births are rising in the U.S. I 100% understand that sometimes C-sections are necessary, but I personally think that the rise in C-sections is contributed to laziness of doctors. Let’s face it, OB/GYNS are more surgeons than anything and I think they prefer C-sections. They’re quicker, simpler, and easier (for them.) Did you know that nearly 80% of births outside the US are performed by midwives? Would you be shocked to learn that midwives actually have a higher percentage of survival over OB/GYNS? Would you be even more shocked to know that the US has the highest first day infant mortality out of all developed countries? If you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, really sometime ever in your life, I really urge you to consider all your options and consider choosing a midwife. My sister’s insurance doesn’t cover midwifery so unfortunately it was out of her control but if your insurance does, take the time to do your research. Your labor experience (in most circumstances) can be what you it to be.

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about midwifes. Whenever someone found out that I chose a midwife they’d be like “Oh, wow you’re brave” like somehow I’m risking my life or “You don’t like hospitals?” because this is only 2014 (2013 then) and we somehow don’t have the technology to, you know, have midwifes that deliver in hospitals.

As I’ve stressed a million times now, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I respect everyone’s opinions and right to believe what they want but since this is my blog, I’m telling you why I think you really ought to consider a midwife:

1) My midwifes saw less people therefore allowing more time for me.

Right away I chose to deliver at the University of Utah Hospital because it has the best midwifery program in the state. When I went to my first appointment, I was bummed to find out that you don’t get assigned a particular midwife. They have about 12 midwives and you deliver with whoever is on call that night. I was worried that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with this but as each appointment came I found myself loving every single one of the new midwives I met. Each appointment lasted for an hour because we’d spend so much time chatting and becoming familiar with each other. They always explained every procedure and always gave information to me in great detail. I didn’t get a chance to meet all of the midwives but I managed to meet most of them. The night I went into labor I started off with a midwife I met a few weeks ago but ended with one I had never met and I still felt very comfortable with her. The first midwife stayed with me almost her whole entire shift even though she had 4 other women who came in at the same time as me. So now you’re probably thinking, “what about those women?” My midwife went to each one of them, would get a feel for if she was needed or not, offer her assistance, and then move on to the next women, and again, gage if she felt she was needed. Thankfully for me all the women that came in were either second timers or were doing fine with their doula or other support systems, so seeing that I needed the extra help, she spent her time with me.

She was so in-tune to my needs. I never told her that I wanted her to stay, she just knew I needed her. I was struggling putting into place the Bradley Method and eventually just gave it up all together when I was probably about 6cm. I can honestly say there is no way I could have lasted as long as I did without my midwife sitting there with me, helping me get through each contraction. Jesse and my sister-in-law were amazing as well, but I needed validation from my midwife to know I was really doing okay.  By the time it was the end of her shift I had decided to get an epidural. She gave me a hug and stayed with me while they inserted the needle. There is probably no way I would ever get so much time devoted to me had I chosen to see an OB/GYN.

2) They genuinely care and listen to you.

My midwife knew I was extremely afraid of needles (practically the biggest reason I decided to go natural) and took the time to talk with the anesthesiologist and share my concerns. She even made sure to get me the one she knew was really experienced and really good at his job. Also, when I had finally managed to make it to 9cm (still without an epidural) I repeatedly told her I couldn’t do it. Instead of saying, “you know what, you’re right. Let’s just get you an epidural right now” she chose to motivate me with encouraging words. She praised how good I was doing and how strong I was, but at the same time sympathized by letting me know that she knew it was tough. When hours went by and I was still stuck at a 9 she was honest with me and told me that while she knew I entirely capable of finishing without an epidural that she worried I’d be too exhausted to push and that would increase my chances of needing a C-section or the  assistance from forceps or a vacuum. I never felt like she didn’t believe in me and I was grateful that she cared enough about me to tell me my options and what could result.

3) They can give birth in a hospital (at least in the state of Utah)

This probably should have been number one, but yeah, they do give birth in hospitals (though if you didn’t want to, you wouldn’t have to.) Also, from what I know, if they don’t do hospital births, a lot of the clinics are near by a hospital. Plus, the minute a midwife realizes something is going wrong they’d be putting you in an ambulance or calling an OB/GYN over immediately. They definitely take more chances than an OB/GYN, but they would never risk the mother’s or the baby’s life.

4) They do what YOU want to do

People have this misconception that if you choose a midwife you have to go drug free. That is not the case. The whole point of a midwife is to allow your labor to go the way you want it to. I could walk right in and get an epidural immediately and still have midwives there throughout the whole process. They don’t judge because they don’t care. They know that the most important thing is that you have a good birth experience.

5) They’re way more relaxed

I was able to eat and drink throughout my whole labor. I was in so much pain that I basically didn’t, but the choice was there if I wanted to. Also, I was able to walk around, and do pretty much whatever the heck I wanted. I tried sitting in a bath and all sorts of positions. I opted to not have the procedural IV and I was only occasionally hooked up to the monitors to make sure Penelope was doing fine. It was seriously so nice. 

6) They rarely do episiotomies.

My midwife had done 2 episiotomies in her whole 16 year career and saw hundreds of patients every year.

7) You’re less likely to have a C-section

That was probably already obvious but it was worth stating anyway.

8) They have just as much knowledge as an OB/GYN

Again, personal opinion here. I can’t actually verify that with a statistic, but the midwives I saw seemed just as knowledgeable and experience as any doctor I’ve met. I was never worried about their skill and ability and I’m a pretty big worry wart.

I loved having the freedom to make choices for myself. I loved even more the confidence that my midwives had in me. I think that if I had gone with a OB/GYN I would have been induced before Penelope was born. Also, because my labor was so long, an OB/GYN would have made me have a C-section way before I even reached 20 hours even though Penelope and I were safe. And ultimately, I would have given up having a natural birth within a few hours without the support and motivation my midwife provided me.

Our beautiful and healthy little baby a few hours after birth.

So as long as I’m able to, I will always, always choose a midwife.


  1. I'm still not convinced. OBGYNs are the only way I'd do it.

    1. As I've said, to each their own. I respect your opinion to disagree. Thanks for the feed back though!

  2. I Love this post! I absolutely agree with everything you said! My younger sister and I both had pretty bad 1st time labor experiences and both had OBs. Nine months after Kyah was born, my sister-in-law had her first baby with a midwife and she was so caring and loving and compassionate. She had preterm labor at 34 weeks and Tina (the midwife) was there for every step of the way. She went above and beyond her call of duty. When she finally delivered at 36 weeks, Tina stayed in the labor room nearly the whole labor. I knew she was who I wanted for my next baby. I followed her to whatever hospital she was working out of for my last 2 babies.

    1. I know so many people who have had bad experiences with their first time labor and every one of them had an OB. There biggest complaint was feeling like they just wanted them to hurry up and get it over with. The experience of having a baby should be wonderful not hurried! Having a baby early could be very scary so it's wonderful to hear that she supported her the whole way. I love how attentive midwives are. What hospital does she deliver at? Thanks for your comment!